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Stella & Dot CEO Jessic Herrin Featured in Wall Street Journal

This article is by Grace Williams for the Wall Street Journal. Read the original article HERE.

Who:
Jessica Herrin
What: Stella & Dot, a jewelry company
Where: Burlingame, CA
Web Site: www.stelladot.com/emarkland
Year founded: Founded as Luxe Jewels in 2004. In 2008, Luxe Jewels name was changed to Stella & Dot.
Number of employees: 28
Annual revenues: $30million

When Jessica Herrin learned that the projected growth for 2009 at her jewelry boutique company, Stella & Dot, was significantly higher than expected, she knew the company had a “high class problem” on its hands. “Whether you are above or below your forecast, if you are significantly off-plan, it’s a problem,” she says.

Ms. Herrin credits the company’s success to “social shopping,” essentially taking the 1950s version of in-home trunk shows such as Avon and Tupperware to social-media sites like Twitter and Facebook. With celebrity clientele spanning from Paris Hilton to Teri Hatcher, Herrin anticipated Stella & Dot would double its growth in 2009. In fact, the company expects to grow seven times as much.

The rapid growth meant Stella & Dot’s inventory and customer-service capabilities were way too limited. With orders coming in, Ms. Herrin moved quickly to hire a team. Not wanting to sacrifice the company’s high standards when it comes to hiring, she brought in a number of key positions as contractors. “This gave us the comfort in making quick decisions and getting quick resources,” she says. If they performed well, most contractors were hired as full-time employees; if they didn’t, Ms. Herrin would replace them with other contractors so as not to short-cut the company’s talent search. “There are a lot of great people out there and not a lot of great jobs,” she says. “That was advantageous to us.”

The new staff enabled Stella & Dot to stay on top of the orders and maintain the quality that Ms. Herrin desired. “The result is that we’ve been able to handle the growth,” she says. “We surpassed our goals and we’ve delivered.”

Fast Fixes features an entrepreneur who thinks outside the box to solve a routine problem or a major obstacle in his or her small business. If you’d like to be considered, email your story to colleen.debaise@wsj.com.

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